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Which Revelations Provide My LDS Friends with Certainty that Baptisms are the Means by which Sins are Forgiven?


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1. Which Revelations Provide My LDS Friends with Certainty that Baptisms are the Means by which Sins are Forgiven? 2. Are there Revelations that indicate that Baptisms are the only means by which Sins are Forgiven?  3. Are there Revelations that Indicate that LDS Baptisms are the only Baptisms by which Sins are Forgiven? Thanks.

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Has water, in itself, any virtue to wash away sin? Certainly not; but the Lord says, “If the sinner will repent of his sins, and go down into the waters of baptism, and there be buried in the likeness of being put into the earth and buried, and again be delivered from the water, in the likeness of being born—if in the sincerity of his heart he will do this, his sins shall be washed away.” [See D&C 128:12–13.] Will the water of itself wash them away? No; but keeping the commandments of God will cleanse away the stain of sin (DBY, 159).

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-9?lang=eng

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

1. Which Revelations Provide My LDS Friends with Certainty that Baptisms are the Means by which Sins are Forgiven? 2. Are there Revelations that indicate that Baptisms are the only means by which Sins are Forgiven?  3. Are there Revelations that Indicate that LDS Baptisms are the only Baptisms by which Sins are Forgiven? Thanks.

On all 3 questions, yes, personal revelations. That takes care of what "sin" and "forgiveness" mean in various contexts. Thank goodness!

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42 minutes ago, Calm said:

 

40 minutes ago, Calm said:

Neither of these say baptism is the "only" way. And both connect repentance to it. So depending on what is meant they may be saying baptism can be the means, repentance can be the means, both can be the means or both together can be the means.

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Just now, InCognitus said:
  1. I think the verse posted by Calm (Acts 2:38) indicates that sins are forgiven at the time of baptism.  But it's not the baptism itself that provides the forgiveness of sins, it's Jesus Christ.   Water baptism is an ordinance by which we covenant to take on the name of Christ and commit ourselves to follow him.  Baptism gives us a clean slate, it's like being born again from the womb and we start from scratch (and thus a very good reason for the metaphor).  It's also the means by which we enter into the church of Christ (Acts 2:41, Mosiah 18:17), and is the "gate" that puts us on the path to eternal life and exaltation (2 Nephi 31:12-21).
  2. Baptism is not the only means by which sins are forgiven, otherwise we'd be getting rebaptized on a regular basis.  Regularly partaking of the sacrament is the way that the covenant is renewed.
  3. Baptism not only about forgiveness of sins, it's about the covenant and the path that it puts you on.  So if a baptism doesn't get you on the right path, you may end up down the wrong road.  

Related to #3, I think 2 Nephi 31 addresses this as well:

 

Your quote from 2 Nephi 31 certainly addresses well the need for both repentance and baptism. My purpose in responding is not to refute, but to understand and learn. In that sense, how do my LDS friends put together a chain of revelations implying that only LDS baptism is valid, pleasing, and acceptable to the Godhead for forgiveness of sins. If 2 Nephi was originally written prior to the creation of the COJCOLDS, it cannot and does not mention LDS baptismal exclusivity. So therefore, it seems to me that a chain of revelations, both ancient and modern needs to be put together to arrive at the doctrinal conclusion that only LDS baptism suffices in the eyes of God. It must be a matter of A+B+C+D = that conclusion. Otherwise you would accept Catholic or Anglican baptisms. Is that an incorrect conclusion?

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Just now, bluebell said:

It might be helpful if you changed your terminology a bit, because as it's written it doesn't work with our theology.

The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which you refer to as LDS) has only been in existence since 1830, yet we very much believe that many baptisms before 1830 in the history of the world were still "valid, pleasing, and acceptable to the Godhead for forgiveness of sins."

We believe this because it's not LDS baptism that matters.  It's baptism by one holding the proper authority to perform ordinances in the name of God and make covenants on His behalf.  That's what we believe matters in regards to baptism (and all other ordinances).  We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church in this dispensation that has the authority to perform such ordinances but the authority to perform baptisms and other ordinances does not belong to the church, it belongs to Christ.  As such it has existed and been exercised at other times throughout history without any connection to the LDS church. 

Thanks so much. Based on your reply, the next logical questions someone like me must ask are the following: If there were "many baptisms" prior to the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that were valid, pleasing, and acceptable to the Godhead for forgiveness of sins, have there been "many or any" valid, pleasing and acceptable non-LDS church baptisms performed since the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded, especially given that the authority to do so belongs to Christ, not to the Church? Might not Christ grant that authority to whomever He chooses? If not, why not? If we do, do not Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit have and exercise free-will (agency)?

If your answer is "no," then I am back to my original question. You indicate "we believe" that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church in this dispensation that has the authority to perform such ordinances . . ." Upon what authority, revelations, scriptures, etc. do you base that belief? I guess that is what I am trying to get at. For my last six years of intense engagement with my LDS friends, I have been repeatedly told "We believe" this or that. Then someone else would tell me "I don't believe that" and these people were leaders of one sort or another in the local or general church.

For example, from the time I was a little child, I believed many things because that is what I was taught by my parents, pastors, Sunday School teachers, etc. I believed that we were in the end times. I believed that men should wear beards. I believed that women should not wear pants or makeup. I believed that there were Mennonites and others (we called them the English). The former were pleasing to God and the latter were the "world," to be avoided at all costs.  I believed I should marry someone of my faith. I could on and on. However, I believed these things because I was taught these things. I believed them up through about 14 years of age, when the questions then came. By that time I had given one hundred testimonies of the truth of what I believe, and one or two full sermons. By the time I was 22 or so I rejected all of those things I have described to you. I still reject them . . . except I do like my goatee.


This morning I woke up and decided to simply ask each of you (collectively) on what specific revelations do you base your beliefs, especially those that involve LDS exclusivity or onliness (my terms)? I agree with you about the fact that such authority belongs to Christ and I would add, is mediated to us via the Holy Spirit. Therefore I can't understand why Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father don't have the agency to do as they will, when it seems pretty clear in the Old Testament that they do? I can't get my head around the "God is not a God of confusion" evidence. That is too simple for me. God heals some and chooses not to heal others. That might seem confusing to us, but it isn't. He has His own reasons that are way over our pay grade.

So, I decided to ask. . . not to challenge, but to ascertain if there is a difference between how you aggregate and affirm your beliefs and how I aggregated and affirmed mine. I am trying to figure out if I am missing something? Today at 74, I am much less certain, much less strident, and much happier with my beliefs than I was at 15 when I believed what I believed because I was taught by every authority figure in my life to believe it. I became a parrot (I know because we had an African Grey for thirty years). Thanks for your reply and patience.

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5 hours ago, Navidad said:

Thanks so much. Based on your reply, the next logical questions someone like me must ask are the following: If there were "many baptisms" prior to the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that were valid, pleasing, and acceptable to the Godhead for forgiveness of sins, have there been "many or any" valid, pleasing and acceptable non-LDS church baptisms performed since the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded, especially given that the authority to do so belongs to Christ, not to the Church? Might not Christ grant that authority to whomever He chooses? If not, why not? If we do, do not Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit have and exercise free-will (agency)?

If your answer is "no," then I am back to my original question. You indicate "we believe" that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church in this dispensation that has the authority to perform such ordinances . . ." Upon what authority, revelations, scriptures, etc. do you base that belief? I guess that is what I am trying to get at. For my last six years of intense engagement with my LDS friends, I have been repeatedly told "We believe" this or that. Then someone else would tell me "I don't believe that" and these people were leaders of one sort or another in the local or general church.

For example, from the time I was a little child, I believed many things because that is what I was taught by my parents, pastors, Sunday School teachers, etc. I believed that we were in the end times. I believed that men should wear beards. I believed that women should not wear pants or makeup. I believed that there were Mennonites and others (we called them the English). The former were pleasing to God and the latter were the "world," to be avoided at all costs.  I believed I should marry someone of my faith. I could on and on. However, I believed these things because I was taught these things. I believed them up through about 14 years of age, when the questions then came. By that time I had given one hundred testimonies of the truth of what I believe, and one or two full sermons. By the time I was 22 or so I rejected all of those things I have described to you. I still reject them . . . except I do like my goatee.


This morning I woke up and decided to simply ask each of you (collectively) on what specific revelations do you base your beliefs, especially those that involve LDS exclusivity or onliness (my terms)? I agree with you about the fact that such authority belongs to Christ and I would add, is mediated to us via the Holy Spirit. Therefore I can't understand why Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father don't have the agency to do as they will, when it seems pretty clear in the Old Testament that they do? I can't get my head around the "God is not a God of confusion" evidence. That is too simple for me. God heals some and chooses not to heal others. That might seem confusing to us, but it isn't. He has His own reasons that are way over our pay grade.

So, I decided to ask. . . not to challenge, but to ascertain if there is a difference between how you aggregate and affirm your beliefs and how I aggregated and affirmed mine. I am trying to figure out if I am missing something? Today at 74, I am much less certain, much less strident, and much happier with my beliefs than I was at 15 when I believed what I believed because I was taught by every authority figure in my life to believe it. I became a parrot (I know because we had an African Grey for thirty years). Thanks for your reply and patience.

I think a person believes a certain way because of the innate bias to do so, and in turn uses rationale and justification to confirm that bias. Faith (belief) comes by hearing the word (relating to the spiritual world around us), and bias renders one point or another pleasing or repulsive (see Alma 32). As life goes on, bias, belief, exposure to the world and justification often change.

I take this kind of bias to be the result of how we manage our conscience, however one might define that or believe it comes about. I now consider it a gift from God, the light of Christ. This is how my nascent spirituality developed absent any formal Christian instruction for the majority of my childhood.

So, I think belief is less based in scripture-as-revelation than in spiritual bias, the precursor to personal revelation. Scriptures are then used to justify the belief, and then used as a basis or substrate for communicating our spiritual experience for others to hear. The Spirit carries the word of God unto the heart and those who are biased to receive it are inclined to believe.

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11 hours ago, Rain said:

 

Neither of these say baptism is the "only" way. And both connect repentance to it. So depending on what is meant they may be saying baptism can be the means, repentance can be the means, both can be the means or both together can be the means.

I do not believe it is the only way.  We have scriptures teaching Jesus forgave without baptism and Joseph Smith had his sins forgiven by the Lord.

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/articles/primary-accounts-of-first-vision#

I am open to other nonLDS baptisms to be part of the process of seeking and receiving forgiveness for sins from the Lord in the sense that asking in faith and repenting can lead to this blessing.  It would not be a once only needed event nor would it cover other aspects of covenant making we engage with in the God given and authorized Priesthood performed baptisms, but that does not mean those faith led baptisms are valueless or empty imo.

Edited by Calm
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3 hours ago, bluebell said:

I find it hard to believe that you've never gotten answer to this question over so many years of asking.  What I find very believable is that you've gotten answers, don't agree with them and so won't accept them.

The authority, revelations, and scriptures that we base this belief on are the authority of the prophet JS and others after him, and our scriptures. 

“[O]n a certain day [we] went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins…. While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying:

“‘Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys … of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins….’

“He said this Aaronic Priesthood had not the power of laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter…. The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which Priesthood, he said, would in due time be conferred on us.” (Joseph Smith-History 1:68-72).

Thanks bluebell. I appreciate your disbelief, or perhaps skepticism at my continuing to ask questions. But I think you err in your conclusion. I would like to accept them, if only I could understand them. You quote the above passage from the Joseph Smith history as evidence that God gave the keys of baptism to only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fine. I receive and honor your belief. My problem is that I see nowhere in this quote that God only gave that priesthood authority to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which in reality, didn't even exist at the time of this revelation and no where in it does it mention any exclusivity at all in giving it to these two men. I believe I am correct that the above vision took place in May 1829 (see verse 68). Is that not correct? That is almost a year before the church was even founded. I don't question the validity of the vision; I question the validity of the exclusiveness that has somewhere and at some time added to the interpretation of this vision.

If God doesn't like the creeds of some churches, I have no problem with that. I know however that there are scores and probably hundreds of other non-creedal churches out there. What about them? Where in the LDS canon does God say that the Church of Jesus Christ is the only non-creedal church with which God is well pleased? It sure seems that D&C 1:30 is talking about the Church collectively - that is what it says in pretty plain English, is it not? In fact God even says He is not talking about the church individually. Is not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints an individual church? Why is an interpretation not possible that he is speaking about the collective church of Christianity which many people of differing faiths believe was for a while in darkness.

My questions in the OP were not to challenge, but to keep seeking for the revelations that I still am not familiar with that indicate exclusivity in God's relationship with the specific church we know as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have indeed been on here for over six years now. I have been studying LDS beliefs since 1989. I am coming more and more to the conclusion that significant portions of LDS doctrine stem from LDS history which is so very similar to Mennonite history in that it created beliefs based on persecution and pilgrimage that then created a sense of isolation and uniqueness that found its way into the doctrine as teachings. That isn't a criticism. It is an observation from observed similarities about my faith and this forum's.

Perhaps it is as someone has said in an earlier reply, the faithful member's beliefs are not due to any specific revelations, scriptures, etc., but are a matter of teachings and subsequent beliefs in those teachings and a confirmation or testimony of those teachings' truth. If that is the case, then I can stop looking and asking about something concrete, specific beyond personal belief in the truth of those teachings.

I would simply state as I have done before that in my mind I haven't gotten answers other than "it is what we believe . . . so maybe it is time you stop asking questions." Someone recently said in a post in response to my questions that I have built up a measure of good-will on this forum over the years. I was pleased at that. I interpreted it as I can keep on trying to contribute while at the same time keep on asking questions for things I don't understand. I have no other motivation. There are many things I used to ask about but don't anymore. There are things that each of us as individuals and as a faith group simply faith (as a verb). Perhaps that is my answer. Simple faith . . . nothing wrong with that!

Edited by Navidad
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43 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Thanks bluebell. I appreciate your disbelief, or perhaps skepticism at my continuing to ask questions. But I think you err in your conclusion. I would like to accept them, if only I could understand them. You quote the above passage from the Joseph Smith history as evidence that God gave the keys of baptism to only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fine. I receive and honor your belief. My problem is that I see nowhere in this quote that God only gave that priesthood authority to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which in reality, didn't even exist at the time of this revelation and no where in it does it mention any exclusivity at all in giving it to these two men. I believe I am correct that the above vision took place in May 1829 (see verse 68). Is that not correct? That is almost a year before the church was even founded. I don't question the validity of the vision; I question the validity of the exclusiveness that has somewhere and at some time added to the interpretation of this vision.

In previous dispensations, there were multiple people on the earth who had separate lines of authority.  For instance, John the Baptist's line of authority was vastly different from Nephi (the one in 3rd/4th Nephi) even though they both had authority to baptize.  So, it could be possible that another person on Earth may have been given the keys to baptism independently from Joseph Smith but it would have to been through an angelic visitation since the priesthood was taken from the Earth during the great apostasy (John the Beloved is an example since he is a translated being).  I don't know of any other Christian group that believes in a restored priesthood through angelic visitation.

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13 hours ago, webbles said:

In previous dispensations, there were multiple people on the earth who had separate lines of authority.  For instance, John the Baptist's line of authority was vastly different from Nephi (the one in 3rd/4th Nephi) even though they both had authority to baptize.  So, it could be possible that another person on Earth may have been given the keys to baptism independently from Joseph Smith but it would have to been through an angelic visitation since the priesthood was taken from the Earth during the great apostasy (John the Beloved is an example since he is a translated being).  I don't know of any other Christian group that believes in a restored priesthood through angelic visitation.

Thanks for your response. It is quite interesting.

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On 11/2/2023 at 8:46 PM, Navidad said:

Thanks bluebell. I appreciate your disbelief, or perhaps skepticism at my continuing to ask questions. But I think you err in your conclusion. I would like to accept them, if only I could understand them. You quote the above passage from the Joseph Smith history as evidence that God gave the keys of baptism to only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fine. I receive and honor your belief. My problem is that I see nowhere in this quote that God only gave that priesthood authority to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which in reality, didn't even exist at the time of this revelation and no where in it does it mention any exclusivity at all in giving it to these two men. I believe I am correct that the above vision took place in May 1829 (see verse 68). Is that not correct? That is almost a year before the church was even founded. I don't question the validity of the vision; I question the validity of the exclusiveness that has somewhere and at some time added to the interpretation of this vision.

If God doesn't like the creeds of some churches, I have no problem with that. I know however that there are scores and probably hundreds of other non-creedal churches out there. What about them? Where in the LDS canon does God say that the Church of Jesus Christ is the only non-creedal church with which God is well pleased? It sure seems that D&C 1:30 is talking about the Church collectively - that is what it says in pretty plain English, is it not? In fact God even says He is not talking about the church individually. Is not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints an individual church? Why is an interpretation not possible that he is speaking about the collective church of Christianity which many people of differing faiths believe was for a while in darkness.

My questions in the OP were not to challenge, but to keep seeking for the revelations that I still am not familiar with that indicate exclusivity in God's relationship with the specific church we know as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have indeed been on here for over six years now. I have been studying LDS beliefs since 1989. I am coming more and more to the conclusion that significant portions of LDS doctrine stem from LDS history which is so very similar to Mennonite history in that it created beliefs based on persecution and pilgrimage that then created a sense of isolation and uniqueness that found its way into the doctrine as teachings. That isn't a criticism. It is an observation from observed similarities about my faith and this forum's.

Perhaps it is as someone has said in an earlier reply, the faithful member's beliefs are not due to any specific revelations, scriptures, etc., but are a matter of teachings and subsequent beliefs in those teachings and a confirmation or testimony of those teachings' truth. If that is the case, then I can stop looking and asking about something concrete, specific beyond personal belief in the truth of those teachings.

I would simply state as I have done before that in my mind I haven't gotten answers other than "it is what we believe . . . so maybe it is time you stop asking questions." Someone recently said in a post in response to my questions that I have built up a measure of good-will on this forum over the years. I was pleased at that. I interpreted it as I can keep on trying to contribute while at the same time keep on asking questions for things I don't understand. I have no other motivation. There are many things I used to ask about but don't anymore. There are things that each of us as individuals and as a faith group simply faith (as a verb). Perhaps that is my answer. Simple faith . . . nothing wrong with that!

I understand you aren't challenging my beliefs, but you won't accept answers when you get them, so it leads to the same end.  I explained that what I believe comes from a mixture of scriptures, revelation/angelic visitations, the teachings of prophets, and personal revelation.

And after explaining all of that your response is "I haven't gotten answers other than 'it is what we believe...'"

 

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On 11/2/2023 at 9:46 PM, Navidad said:

You [bluebell] quote the above passage from the Joseph Smith history as evidence that God gave the keys of baptism to only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fine. I receive and honor your belief. My problem is that I see nowhere in this quote that God only gave that priesthood authority to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which in reality, didn't even exist at the time of this revelation and no where in it does it mention any exclusivity at all in giving it to these two men.

Okay, then who else was it given to? You are welcome to provide a list of additional men who John the Baptist has appeared to and bestowed the priesthood of Aaron. 

 

On 11/2/2023 at 9:46 PM, Navidad said:

I believe I am correct that the above vision took place in May 1829 (see verse 68). Is that not correct? That is almost a year before the church was even founded. I don't question the validity of the vision; I question the validity of the exclusiveness that has somewhere and at some time added to the interpretation of this vision.

Section 22 of the Doctrine and Covenants was revealed within two weeks of the church's official founding. Good and moral men who had been previously baptized in other churches needed to be baptized again because, according to revelation, authoritative baptism is required. 

And if that's not clear enough, D&C 132:7 seems to be pretty straightforward:

And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

 

Look, if you are determined to try and interpret away the church's claims of exclusivity because of your personal religious beliefs, you are welcome to do so. But please stop giving us this ridiculous line about how you are "just trying to understand," when it's clear you are perfectly capable of understanding our beliefs - you just refuse to accept them. 

 

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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:
On 11/2/2023 at 10:46 PM, Navidad said:

I don't question the validity of the vision;

I'm asking so I can understand better. This seems to say that you accept the vision.

I don't think he is saying he accepts the vision. I think he is referencing a state where folks question the first vision  - and saying he isn't in that place. And that's all he's saying there.

Why I suspect this might be confusing:  We could interpret his phrasing to be a wording style, the one where we use understatement to signal something much more affirming.

Edited by Chum
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3 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

I'm asking so I can understand better. This seems to say that you accept the vision. Do you believe that John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and gave him the Aaronic priesthood?

I'm glad you brought this up, because it allows me to bring up an interesting aspect in Mormondom, the idea of "Divine Investiture".

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2002/04/the-father-and-the-son?lang=eng

Quote

"The ancient Apostle John was visited by an angel who ministered and spoke in the name of Jesus Christ. As we read, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John” (Rev. 1:1). John was about to worship the angelic being who spoke in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but was forbidden: “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. “Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Rev. 22:8–9). And then the angel continued to speak as though he were the Lord Himself: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Rev. 22:12–13). The resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ, who had been exalted to the right hand of God His Father, had placed His name upon the angel sent to John, and the angel spoke in the first person, saying, “I come quickly,” “I am Alpha and Omega,” though he meant that Jesus Christ would come and that Jesus Christ was Alpha and Omega. None of these considerations, however, can change in the least degree the solemn fact of the literal relationship of Father and Son between Elohim and Jesus Christ.  Among the spirit children of Elohim the firstborn was and is Jehovah or Jesus Christ to whom all others are juniors. Following are affirmative scriptures bearing upon this great truth. Paul, writing to the Colossians, says of Jesus Christ: “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Col. 1:15–19). ""

AND there are many other examples.   For example who was "really" the "angel" who wrestled with Jacob?

Ann Taves- not a member of the church- and a very interesting scholar- has published papers giving one a naturalistic interpretation on how all of these miraculous events MIGHT have happened- including making the golden plates- which require no belief in the "supernatural".

I do not believe she knows of our doctrine of divine investiture, which I think would be quite useful if used in her paradigm.

Here's a commentary on one of her papers on the Plates:

https://www.churchistrue.com/blog/gold-plates-ann-taves-naturalistic-theory/

I have no problem in the idea of accepting these views as "POSSIBLE PARADIGMS" for a totally naturalistic view.  That's the way I see it, and yet consider myself a "True Blue" member- WHY? Because I actually Believe in REVELATION! 

 How weird can you get?? ;)   I mean actually believing James 1:5, Moroni 10:4 and a jillon (approximtely ;)) others.  

Remember Joseph "translated" THRU REVELATION- we know that on certain occasions the plates he was "'translating" were in a different room while he was writing their words- indicating that perhaps the very existence.  Surely we can say that Joseph "wrote" the Book of Mormon as LITERALLY true- AS DICTATED by the spirit!   And how do we verify that?  Only one way- THE SPIRIT.

Also we are told that "angels" CAN be fully appointed by GOD to actually REPRESENT HIMSELF, even to the point of SPEAKING AS IF THEY ARE GOD HIMSELF, as shown in the quote above.  So if someone can be acting in the name of God, as if he himself IS God,  WHO "actually" ordained Joseph?   "John the Baptist" !!

To me this is clear as a bell.  It doesn't matter who's body was present acting with God's name!

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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How do we know that it is good to treat others the way they want to be treated?

How can we be certain not is not evil?

What if it is just a tool to ingratiate yourself to others so you can control them?

Anyone have an answer?

C-h-I-c-k-e -n !!  😜

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

How do we know that it is good to treat others the way they want to be treated?

How can we be certain not is not evil?

What if it is just a tool to ingratiate yourself to others so you can control them?

Anyone have an answer?

C-h-I-c-k-e -n !!  😜

(You readily quote Kant and Wittgenstein and Rorty. I dare you to take on Nietzsche with these questions :P )

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